Benchmade 556 Plain Edge/ Satin Finish Blade/ Black Handle
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- Ambidextrous thumb-stud opener
- Premium axis function
- An American made premium grade stainless steel originally developed for tough industrial applications
- AXIS® locking mechanism with ambidextrous thumb-stud opener
- 154CM stainless steel blade (58-61hrc)
- Valox handle with stainless steel liners and a reversible steel pocket clip
- Modified Drop-Point
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Top Customer Reviews
Size: Smallish end of medium, with a total length of 6.78" and a closed length of a very impressive 3.87". The blade hits just shy of 3" with almost the entire exposed edge being sharpened and usable.
Usage Rating: Medium going on heavy. The only reason I don't say "heavy" without reservation is because it is, on the whole, rather smallish. Other than that, this is a knife with dual steel liners, an insanely strong lock, and a moderately thick blade-stock which is ground in such a way that it can take abuse. More to the point, the texturing and gripping created by the handle make this a blade that wouldn't slip out of our hands, even if you used it to cape a deer or clean a really slimy fish, like a catfish.
Steel Quality: I almost put this in the "high" category. 154 CM is a slippery fish in that way. It is certainly an order of magnitude better than 8Cr13Mov and lower steels. I'm not sure I'd call it "better" than VG-10, although it does have better wear resistance. It is not as easy to sharpen as VG-10, and while it will take a hair-popping edge, it won't easily get to that "scalpel zone" that VG-10 and Sandvik 14c28n will.Read more ›
My excitement didn't last long, though. The first thing I noticed, was the blade is horribly off center. It's also got far too much lateral play. I got 2 $13 Sanremu's with the same order, and both of them were dead center, and had less blade play than the near $100 Benchmade. They were also slightly sharper, and weigh almost a full half ounce more. I should note that the 2 Sanremu's are the same size as the Benchmade. Being a bigger guy, I need something with a little more heft.
I'm actually very disappointed right now. I really wanted to like the Benchmade, but when it seems like it's of lesser quality (build/tolerance, not blade steel quality) than the other 2, I can't do anything with it, other than return it and buy something else. I've collected knives for nearly 40 years, and honestly can't believe the lack of quality in this knife. After seeing many posts in blade forums and Facebook groups, it seems that sadly, I'm not alone. Many others I've spoken with have gotten sub-par quality Griptillians. I can understand getting lesser quality when you buy the lower end knives from any manufacturer, but this is just unacceptable. I've never had this problem with any of the Sog, Kershaw, Gerber, Cold Steel, etc.... knives I've owned. I just wish Amazon had a way to attach images to reviews, so I could post a picture of just how badly off center the blade is.
I added a picture into the Customer Images Gallery to illustrate my issue with this knife.
If I'm ever in the financial position to buy a more expensive Benchmade I'll still give them another chance. I just can't keep this knife, and couldn't recommend one to anyone.
This review is for the Benchmade Model 556 Mini Griptilian with thumb studs, a black handle, a plain edge (non serrated), and 154CM blade steel.
The blade has a great modified drop-point shape to it. Towards the tip of the knife there is just enough belly for just about any EDC (Every Day Carry) task. The blade is easily opened with the thumb studs, the provide nice traction and are situated in the correct area for easy deployment. The stone washed blade makes the blade look similar to having many small scratched on it. However, this looks nicer than I am able to describe it. This finishing is also nice for when you use your knife and it does eventually get scratched up, as the scratches are difficult to distinguish from the original blade finish. My largest gripe with this knife is it's edge. This edge is quite fat, it is around 70º inclusive geometry. This makes the edge last awhile, but cutting through thick and coarse materials becomes a pain. For example, cutting through thick card board can be difficult, but anything relatively thin is a breeze due to the sharpness.
This steel (154CM) is some good stuff. This steel is pretty easy to sharpen and holds it's edge for quite awhile. My only gripe with the steel is that it tends to be a bit grainy. Grainy as in the grains in the steel are large and more noticeable than some other steels that I have used. AUS-8, VG-10, S30V, and 8Cr13MoV to mention a few.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best knives that I have owned.
I was skeptical as this was the first Benchmade knife I decided to purchase, especially after reading peoples issues with Axis... Read more
The Benchmade mini Griptilian is great. It has a great price. Its inexpensive. I like the full length metal frame under the nylon. I love the shape of the knife. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Eric Mack
Lightweight, perfect size, smooth action, quality steel. I prefer the solid blade instead of the serration.Published 1 month ago by Kevin
Awesome knife. It holds an edge incredibly well and it rides in my pocket without me even noticing it being there. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joel A Keller
Looks great, very nice ergonomics. I like the locking mechanism a lot. The clip grips my pocket well after 18 months of daily carry. Read morePublished 2 months ago by no so-called
As a carbon steel snob, I resisted this. But I wanted a three-inch tip-up EDC. Lion Steel makes wonderful knives in D2, but they are tip-down and thanks to the crummy clips I have... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert Eisner